Sunday, February 04, 2007

italy -- venice

when i was a little girl in north dakota, i would always dream about travelling. most little kids in america want to go see disneyland or hollywood or something like that... but not me. i've always wanted to go see places like the grand canyon and yellowstone and the sequoia trees in california. and for some reason, venice. i don't know how i got it in my head, but i have always just been completely fascinated by the idea of streets made out of water. and that you have to take a boat to go to the grocery store. and like, how do you go for a walk? do you just jump in your canoe outside your door because there aren't any sidewalks? how does that work? likewise, when adam was little he had this jigsaw puzzle that he'd always play with, with a picture of a gondolier on the grand canal in venice. he'd put it together and take it apart and put it together and take it apart again, until it became so used that the pieces were literally falling apart. there's something about this city that has always called to us, even before we knew each other.

so going to venice was quite literally a dream come true for the both of us. and we definitely soaked up every minute of it. some highlights: picnicking beneath the famous rialto bridge, walking the crooked, narrow streets, exploring san marco, standing atop the same tower that galileo first displayed his telescope, watching the sunset from a pier, and of course, riding a gondola.

here are way too many pictures of our time in what is possibly the most romantic, most magical city i've ever had the luck to visit:

the view from the front doors of the train station, and waiting for the water bus.

the view from our hotel room. that big tower is where galileo showed off his telescope for the first time. it's in san marco piazza, which is the heart of venice.

check it out! our hotel is on a canal! in the second picture it's the one that you're looking at directly, between the red striped poles.

the hotel restaurant. we ate there the first night, but for the next two evenings we ended up at a pizzeria around the corner, which was quieter and cheaper and had better food, but the ambiance was not quite as cute.

from the top of the tower at san marco's piazza. it was so windy, cold, and bright up there! too much sea mist for us to see the alps in the distance, though...

marco polo's house! no way! as seen from our gondola...

pictures from piazza de san marco, the heart of venice.

one bad idea: they sell these little bags of pigeon food, so that the pigeons can land on you. that sounds like fun to some people, but not me! all i could think about as i was watching these birds land in people's hair and roost on their arms was "well, that's a great way to catch lice." i think i'd be afraid that they'd crap in my hair or something. gross! the little kids seemed to like it though!

various canals

a couple of streets in venice

we took a gondola ride. sooooo expensive, but when we're old and gray, we're not going to remember how much money we spent on the gondola. we'll remember that we got to RIDE in a gondola in venice, one bright winter day. and thanks to my time in china, i learned how to haggle prices down -- we knocked an extra 40 euros off the price cuz i'm so crafty! yeah!

pictures from the famous rialto bridge. one day we just had a picnic next to the bridge and sunned our faces and just hung out for like two or three hours, doing nothing but watching the traffic on the grand canal... ahhhh...

sunset from the rialto bridge, day two

one evening we sat on a pier nearby our hotel and watched the sunset over the adriatic sea. yes, you read that right. amazing!

next stop... bellagio, on the shores of lake como!


Teresa said...

good job, dr smartypants, for taking our girl to venice. glad you got to fit the puzzle pieces together. hehheh.
isn't that pic of you two makin out in the boat a little gratuitous? gracious!

Elizabeth said...

This is so exciting! I'm so glad you two got to go see this place that you've each been interested in for such a long time.

Amber, I was thinking today that it was nearly a year ago when you visited me in California to see another thing that you'd always wanted to see: the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade. Now that you've seen Venice, what's next?